The institute tested three 2003 model midsize cars, Mazda 6, Infiniti G35, and Saab 9-3; two 2004 model minivans, Toyota Sienna and Nissan Quest; and two 2003 model large luxury cars, Lincoln Town Car and Mercedes E class. In addition to good overall ratings, five of the vehicles earned the Institute's "best pick" designation.
A good rating by the Institute means that in a real-world crash of similar severity a seat-belted driver would be likely to walk away without serious injuries.
The Nissan Quest, rated good, improved from its predecessor model in 1999 which was rated poor, but it was not a best pick, according to Institute president Brian O'Neill.
"Good performance in the frontal crash test is the norm. None of the vehicles we've tested in 2002 or in 2003 has received a marginal or poor frontal crash test rating," said O'Neill. "But it wasn't always that way."